Wenger: We can rejoin title race
© AFP

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident victory at leaders Chelsea on Sunday will see his side rejoin the race for the Premier League title.

The Gunners will kick off at Stamford Bridge four places and 10 points behind Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, who are above Liverpool on goal difference at the top. Wenger admitted that such a position needed to be rectified as soon as possible following defeats to Fulham, Hull, Stoke, Aston Villa and Manchester City already this season.

But he argued that there was no reason why a team that had already beaten current champions Manchester United should not record another success of the same magnitude.

"At the moment we are not in the title race and the best way to get back into it is to win the game on Sunday," he said. "We know that direct confrontations with top teams become vital when you are in our position.

"I believe that having seen the other teams play, we know we can beat them and that is the only way to get back into it. None of the teams I see looks to be really dominating this league. Everybody can drop points and when teams drop points at home that means it is open for everybody.

None of the teams I see looks to be really dominating this league. Everybody can drop points and when teams drop points at home that means it is open for everybody.
Arsene Wenger on the title race.

"You cannot say when you are 10 points behind that you are favourites to win the championship but you can say as well that the only way to get back into it is to believe we can. That's why we want to go into this game on Sunday by believing we can beat them because we know we can. That is all you want your players to do.

"There is no team that is not vulnerable. None in the world. First of all we have to go with extreme desire and express our strong points and not hide. We can play and win everywhere in the world. We know Chelsea are a great side with great players but we can beat them if we play at our best."

Arsenal's off-field problems have been well documented and Wenger stripped William Gallas of the captaincy after the defender criticised several of his team-mates while publicising his autobiography. Gallas was dropped for the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City last week but recalled for Tuesday's Champions League victory over Dinamo Kiev, which saw Cesc Fabregas installed as the new captain.

"William comes out of the situation with a lot of credit, for me," Wenger insisted. "He is as committed as ever, he organises well his defence in training, he works very hard, and I think it is a credit to him."

He is as committed as ever, he organises well his defence in training, he works very hard, and I think it is a credit to him.
Wenger on William Gallas.

Of course, Gallas is a former Chelsea player and left the club in acrimonious circumstances two years ago. Gallas has denied Chelsea's accusations that he had threatened to score own goals if he was not allowed to leave but it is likely he will be subjected to abuse from the home fans.

Wenger believed this would be of little relevance on Sunday. "I am confident his experience will help him get through that and I believe as well that what gets you through everything is your focus on what you love the most - to win the game," he said.

"When you are on the football pitch, no matter what people say, you don't even hear it. I believe that a player sometimes will not know that it rained after the game because he is so focused on the game and you forget everything around you."

Arsenal have been given a significant boost on the injury front with news that leading striker Emmanuel Adebayor, attacking midfielder Samir Nasri and right-back Bacary Sagna will all be fit to play on Sunday after recovering from recent injuries.